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NVIDIA Corp., a leading developer of graphics technologies, announced Friday its latest mainstream graphics processors, the GeForce 6600-series, have finally made it to the market, around one and a half months after the first announcement.

“Add-in boards based on NVIDIA GeForce 6600 graphics processing units are available immediately at Gameve.com and Buyxtremegear.com/sparkle.html [online stores],” NVIDIA said in the statement.

NVIDIA’s commercial shipments of the new GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 GT graphics processing units coincide with ATI’s launch of its new series of graphics chips, the RADEON X700. Both solutions are aimed at the mainstream market segment and both are designed for PCI Express x16-enabled platforms.

The GeForce 6600-series graphics processing units include 8 pixel and 3 vertex pipelines and contain about 146 million of transistors. NVIDIA manufactures the GeForce 6600-series graphics processing units at TSMC using 0.11 micron fabrication process.

NVIDIA suggests its partners among makers of graphics cards to clock the GeForce 6600 GT and GeForce 6600 graphics processing units at 500MHz and 300MHz respectively. The GPU developer recommends to equip the “GT” parts with 128MB of 128-bit GDDR3 memory operating at 1000MHz. Memory type to be used on the standard version of the GeForce 6600 is to be determined by manufacturers of add-in graphics cards themselves. It is unclear whether NVIDIA plans to offer “Ultra” version of its GeForce 6600 product.

Currently NVIDIA GeForce 6600 128MB graphics cards are priced at around $158 in the USA and from $161 to $171 in Tokyo, Japan. NVIDIA GeForce 6600 256MB costs $178 in the USA, while the GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB is priced at $219. While the prices are reported to be a special offer, they are higher compared to NVIDIA’s recommended retail prices. It is typical for stores to offer novelties at higher rates compared to recommended prices.  

While the GeForce 6600-series is intended for platforms equipped with PCI Express x16 slots; “bridged” AGP flavours of the GeForce 6600-series may be available at a later date.

NVIDIA’s arch-rival ATI promised to start supplying its RADEON X700 PRO SKU this month with RADEON X700 XT reaching retail in October, 2004.

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